Forum: Writer's aids

Discussing: Fear of Writing

Fear of Writing

Are you afraid of writing? Why? What makes this scary in and of itself?

Discuss.

If you were afraid of writing at one point, what changed? How did you move past that? What was the first thing you wrote, and why did you choose to write about that subject? Did the subject matter have something to do with curing the fear of writing?

Also discuss.

 

 

Re: Fear of Writing

I wouldn't say that I fear writing, I simply can't do it most of the time. Lack of talent does that. Shou ga nai.

To some extent I fear posting. Will people not get it? point out my idiocy? hate it? or worst of all: ignore it?

 

 

Re: Fear of Writing

I think the scary part is reading all this very good stuff that other people have written and thinking (knowing?) you'll never be that good.

I think what I'm saying is that its scary because you don't want everyone to think its crap because of your writing or your ideas.


paranoidangel

 

 

Re: Fear of Writing

I'm with you paranoidangel.

Every time I read a particularly good story I wonder why I bother trying. I've had some good fun in the past 10 months of writing but I hope I get it out of my system soon.

 

 

Re: Fear of Writing

To some extent I fear posting. Will people not get it? point out my idiocy? hate it? or worst of all: ignore it?


Boy, can I relate to this! The fear that the story which is so clear in my own mind won't come across as intelligibly in my writing gives me cold chills at times, and I find myself just sitting staring at the computer screen and trying to will my fingers to start typing something, anything, just to break the ice.

That's one reason why I posted the story I'm working on right away, even before it was fully conceived, so I would feel obligated, not only to finish it, but to have it posted. Now I'm just afraid that everyone will get tired of seeing it hanging around! Ack!

This fear becomes even more pronounced when OCs are involved, because so much effort is put into creating the characters and if readers don't like them, or can't relate to them for whatever reason, it's hard not to take it as a personal slight. Rejection is never easy, no matter how politely it's done. But it's one of the realities of life; just as it's true that not everyone will like you, so it is that not everyone will like your work.

But knowing this never completely takes away that anxiety.

A friend even picked a name for my insecurity, so I can call it/him by name and tell it/him to get lost! *snork* Not that he listens.

Sorry to be so long winded. I'll leave quietly now.

~Nessime

 

 

Re: Fear of Writing

Yep. That's me.

I'm not a new write. I've got stacks of critical essays that I've written, a computer full of short stories, but it's been a while since I wrote anything for my own pleasure.

Only recently, I started writing fanfic (that bug had to wait until I started medicine to bite me, so now instead of studying, I want to write. Sheesh.). I started out in Gilmore Girls, on fanfic.net. I panicked at the thought of sharing my writing, but after seeing all of the, I don't know how to put this nicely, childish writing, I thought that at least I could help boost the caliber a little. And I've honestly enjoyed it, even though getting reviews has been worse than pulling teeth or some other cliched saying.

Writing Tolkien, that's a whole different branch of fear. I admire his writing so much, his works have been such an integral part of my life, I hesitate to tread on his footsteps. In addition, he's created this huge, complex, integrated world, where there are different people, languages, cultures to weave in. And I've only read LOTR and the first couple chapter of Silm! How can I even think about adding something of substance? I don't even know the way to go about naming my characters!

I fear my writing is boring. I fear my characters sound out of character, and I know how much I hate reading those stories. And I fear that my plot is nothing more than sticky cotton candy, nothing more than empty fluff.

The other problem I'm facing the the plague of the "half-plot." There have been times when I've thought of stories that I could possibly write, but I can't get beyond the first two paragraphs and I'm out of ideas. I've signed up on a Nuzgul idea--hopefully it's bite will be enough to break me free!

Anyone with ideas of how to overcome these fears, I'd be more than glad to hear them!

Julia

 

 

Re: Fear of Writing

I feel like I can relate to everything you have said, guys. I had an incredible feeling of deja vu when Nessime mentioned staring at a blank screen *grins* And, the fear still overcomes me from time to time.

What is the root of this fear is a question I have very much tried to answer. I guess the main reason why I am afraid is that I may not be able to live to my own expectations of what I wish to bring out in a story (or everybody else's, for that matter) Also, I fear that my ideas will be poorly written because of lack of skill or a bad development on my part. And, oddly enough, sometimes I like the characters so much that I am afraid I may not be able to do them justice! I have always thought that writing is an act of bravery, and, boy, it takes guts to post something! You have mentioned the fear of the work to be ignored... which has happened to me before, as well. At those points, wouldn't one crave for at least flames? (well, not flames flames, but at least some kind of feedback, even if it is the wrong kind... hehe)

But, I love to write, and most of all, I love to learn, and to write is to learn (leaving aside the huge amount of research one has to do to write Tolkien properly), and so I have tried to work up my fear and just... write! for the pleasure of it, and also because the nuzguls sometimes won't let me sleep (quiet, you! You know I'm speaking to you... get your hands out of my keyboard!) So, what I've done, is try to cultivate a positive attitude toward my writing, and everybody's writing. How have I done it? hmmm... it would be hard and long to explain, but a few things that have helped:

1) I realize that most of us who write feel the same way, so I am not alone in this.

2) Everybody had a first time, and I realize that those authors whom I admire had one too, and have achieved such great accomplishments through hard work (and aching fingers... it happens when you've typed too much!) So, I know that if I keep practicing, I might one day -hopefully- be at least tolerable!

3) When I read a story that I like, I try to pay attention to things the author does that seem to work well, and try to see what can I do to improve my writing along those lines. So, I try to read and give out substantial feedback (well, as good as I can manage) that makes me aware of what I liked and didn't, and makes me be conscious of it. And, of course, most likely the author will be grateful to have their work inspire the comments, and perhaps you can gain a new friend!

4) I write about subjects that I very much enjoy and am confident with. I try to do a lot of research first, and I ask questions, so I make sure that my work fits canon (which is a very important issue for me, but may not be to everybody) If I feel confident that what I am writing about will be believable, I will write better.

5) When possible, I try to talk to people who have the same character interest of my story. You have no idea how much this kind of personal feedback will help set your thoughts straight! The exchange of views in incredibly fun, and it helps broaden your horizons and look for different views to the same events that might enrich your writing.

6) Ah, the dreaded post! Do you ever get that butterfly feeling when you hit the enter button, and you know your story has been posted? It happens to me every time! I guess you just have to take that leap of faith and do it. If the nuzgul was nibbling at you so much that it forced you to leave studies and work aside (been there, done that!) then it is likely that it will interest someone else -hopefully!

7) And, if the story gets flames... or it is just ignored... Well, it won't hurt to think that perhaps the subject was not the most appealing, or maybe your story got lost in site-traffic. If I get flames, I try to review and see what I've done wrong and try to mend it. Well, I've never been actually flamed, and whenever there's been something to fix, the reviewer has been so helpful to me in correcting it! They have offered suggestions and good critique, and for that I will be forever grateful. And, the writing that results from the corrections has been inmensely better than what I first had, so, I guess one needs be open-minded. If you get ignored... It's happened to me with a couple of stories that I was very proud of... no reviews or comments. It made me quite sad at first, but, I feel the story is interesting enough to continue, and I will, if only for my own amusement and practice. You just have to keep at it.

So, in the end, I guess one has to be pretty brave to go through it all, right? But, it is worth it. The learning experience is priceless, and the feeling of satisfaction you get when you realize that you can do it!

Anyway, I tend to ramble much too often, and I hope I have not bored anyone with all of that. I'll keep coming back and see what you all feel and think... we could work out as a support group, couldn't we? Good luck you all with the writing, and please, don't get discouraged. Practice makes master, or so they say (or something along those lines... it's hard to give the exact translation)

Starlight

 

 

Re: Fear of Writing

And, oddly enough, sometimes I like the characters so much that I am afraid I may not be able to do them justice!

Exactly! There are some writers who seem to have the gift, skill or whatever you choose to call it of making the character "three-dimensional" as one person called it. There are times I read what they've written and almost expect to see the characters step off the screen/page in front of me. That's what I strive for and despair of ever attaining.

But, I love to write, and most of all, I love to learn, and to write is to learn

That's what life is all about - learning. You have lots of company in this viewpoint!

...so I have tried to work up my fear and just... write!

That's half the battle right there. I read once that you have to view writing as work, something you need to discipline yourself to do for a set amount of time each day, even if you end up tossing out everything you wrote. It's the discipline of doing it that counts. And occasionally you will look at what you've written and find that nugget that just needs a bit of polish to shine like a gem. Whoa, must stop with the metaphores.

Everything you list is dead on. The part about having a dialog with others who share an interest in what you're writing about is invaluable. The give and take can spark new ideas, clear up existing problems with plot, pacing or characterizations, and pick up on those pesky typos we all fall prey to and miss because we've been staring at the words for so long we don't really "see" them anymore!

Yes, practice does make perfect. I think that is what you mean. Am I understanding correctly that English is not your first language? Because if this is so, your command of the language is impressive!

Blessings and Peace!
~Nessime

 

 

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